Daimler Art Collection started in 1977 with the purchase of a painter
by Willi Baumeister, and has been expanded ever since with great
concentration and commitment. It currently includes about 1800 works
by over 600 artists.
picture of art developing in the 20th century
works - mainly painting, but also sculpture and graphic art, though
much of the graphic art cannot usually be shown for conservation
reasons - show the development of 20th century art, focusing in
particular on south-west Germany (The Stuttgart Avant-Garde - From
Hölzel to the Bauhaus - 'Concrete Art': the Ulm Hochschule für Gestaltung,
the Zurich Concrete Artists, Links with 'De Stijl' - Abstract Tendencies
- The 60s Stuttgart School - Figurative-Expressive Tendencies around
the Karlsruhe Academy and HAP Grieshaber). Major artistic trends
and groupings are identified by representative, high-quality works
by the artists involved: the collection makes no claim to cover
its historical field in the breadth and depth that museums can offer.
by the younger generation: crystallizing out a new focal point
framework - which was already a broad one - has been expanded in
recent years, and works by younger regional, German and international
artists have been acquired. These relate to one of the key areas
of the collection - the reduced, constructive-concrete direction
taken by art in the 20th century - and show it moving forward and
crystallizing out more sharply, right up to the present day. And
these works by the younger generation also represent major landmarks
in 90s painting.
Hölzel, Oskar Schlemmer, Josef Albers
compositions by Adolf Hölzel date back to the first decade of the
20th century, the chronological starting-point of the collection.
Hölzel was appointed to the Stuttgart Academy in 1905. Subsequently
famous pupils of his include Willi Baumeister, Camille Graeser,
Otto Meyer-Amden, Oskar Schlemmer and Johannes Itten; they are represented
by work-groups or individual works tracing a line of development.
Schlemmer - who is a particularly strong presence in the Daimler Art Collection, with nine works spanning three decades - taught from
1921-28 in the Weimar and the Dessau Bauhaus. There are two works
from this period in the selection, and they are complemented by
pictures from the period of ostracism. The artistic path during
his years in America (1933 to 1975) followed by Josef Albers, whose
biography was also shaped to a considerable extent by studying and
teaching at the Bauhaus, is traced in three high-calibre works.
Daimler Art Collection also makes a major feature of Max Bill,
who studied at the Dessau Bauhaus under Schlemmer, Kandinsky and
Klee, and in 1950 was also the co-founder and first director of
the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm. In Paris, Bill joined the
"abstraction - création" group, founded in 1931, which also included
the artists Arp, Baumeister and Vantongerloo, who appear in the
collection. The last three artists named, with Camille Graeser,
Verena Loewensberg and Richard Paul Lohse form the core of the "Zurich
Concrete" group - Max Bill remained their spokesman and theoretical
thinker well into the 60s.
art develops in Germany
Vordemberge-Gildewart - briefly a student at the Bauhaus in Weimar
and Dessau, member of 'De Stijl', co-founder of 'die abstrakten
hannover', friend of Bill and later teacher at the Hochschule für
Gestaltung in Ulm - impinges on all these circles and can be seen
as the most important pioneer of concrete art in Germany. Many artists
went back to this early 'concrete', constructive-abstract art and
developed it further. This can be seen in the collection in works
by artists like Adolf Fleischmann, Harmut Böhm, Ulrich Erben, Gottfried
Honegger, Günther Frühtrunk, Karl Gerstner, Manfred Mohr and Anton
Stankowski, and the same thread runs through to the works of younger
artists like Andreas Brandt and Gerold Miller.
tendencies and the representational counter-movement
are fine examples of abstract tendencies on the collection by Baumeister,
Berner, Brüning, Dahmen, Hoehme, Kuhn, Meistermann, Thieler, Winter,
and the gestural developments can be seen in the work of Schoofs
and Sonderborg. Alongside this we have the representational counter-movement
to the abstract trend, including Schmidt, Radziwill and their predecessors
Hubbuch and Schad (Wintersberger and Willikens could also be included
in this line of development), and the figurative-expressive Karlsruhe
School with their 'father-figure' HAP Grieshaber, with Antes, Krieg
and the 'New Tendencies'
and the 'New Tendencies' as European movements are represented by
Castellani, Mavignier, Morellet and Staudt. Loners within this spectrum,
who get involved in the various movements and then reject them,
are Ruprecht Geiger - who makes quite an impact in the Daimler Art Collection with a total of six works -, Alfonso Hüppi, Otto Ritschl
and Fritz Ruoff.
Andy Warhol's "Cars"
Warhol's works from the "Cars" series, produced as the result of
a commission from Daimler-Benz in 1986/87, but incomplete because
of Warhol's death, make up a facet of the collection in their own
right. 80 pictures were planned, intended to record the history
of Mercedes using 20 selected Mercedes models, but the artist only
managed to produce 35 pictures and 12 drawings.
in the 80s and 90s
the artists Buren, Edzgveradze, Erben, Förg, Heizer, Knoebel, Lachauer,
Näher, Scharein and Villinger represent important aspects of German
and international painting in the 80s and 90s. The transition from
the traditional panel painting to wall-related objects and the inclusion
of new media is shown in striking individual works by Brandmeier,
Koliusis, Paik, Rademacher, Roehr, Sanguineti, Schuler and Westerwinter.